Lono Flow: Biodegradable Barefoot Shoes For Cross-Training

May 2, 2024Barefoot cross-training shoes with a wide biodegradable knit upper and minimal road tread.

Hello, my name’s Andrew, and these are the Lono Flow, a lightweight barefoot shoe with a biodegradable knit upper and minimal tread for road running and cross-training.


Last year I got a pair of Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Knit’s to replace my original Primus Lite’s, which I’d been wearing for like six years, and the soft, stretchy upper was an excellent upgrade for road running, but at $180, a lot of people have been asking me for a more affordable option.

So I was stoked when Lono sent me a pair of Flow’s to test, because despite being half the price, they actually have a lot of features that the Primus Lite’s don’t, and get this…

They’re are also 80% biodegradable, so after you finally throw them out, they’ll go from cross-training to compost in three years!


For starters the Flow has a wide foot-shaped toebox with a soft knit upper with front and side panels that are double-stitched for durability, as well as a reinforced eyelet strip, side lacing, stretchy slip-on ankle, and heel tab to prevent rubbing.

Inside the heel is double-lined with a soft fabric and ankle pads for a solid lockdown, while the inner sole has a thin foam layer and removable insole for extra padding and the knit upper expands with movement to improve breathability.


Underneath you’ve got a minimal 6mm zero-drop sole that’s highly flexible in all directions, plus a hexagonal tread pattern for grip and flexibility, along with traction strips at the heel and toe and a side notch to prevent crimping.


While the Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Knit is a bit tougher and the Be Lenka Dash is more casual, the Lono Flow feels like a great blend of both.


So it was super quick to slip the shoes on and head out the door, but the front and side panels made the upper feel a bit more secure without constricting my foot or reducing flexibility.

Road Running

Like Vivobarefoot and Be Lenka, though, the Flow’s are featherlight and I got the urge, almost immediately, to ditch my walk and start running.

Also, despite being a knit shoe, the lower lace attachments gave me an excellent lockdown to prevent blisters on longer runs, while the woven upper expanded to let a ton of air through to keep my feet cool for faster tempo runs.

Doing some 200m and 400m’s at the track the front nibs and minimal lugs acted like mini spikes, making the Flow’s one of my all-time favorite sprinting shoes.


For box jumps and stair workouts the upper was almost as flexible as being barefoot and the slight padding actually made the Flow’s a great choice for biking.

Bending my toes to ninety degrees for pushups or yoga poses the side notch was a brilliant fix to the annoying crimping issue that I’ve had with a lot of other barefoot cross-training shoes.

Finally, as with most thin zero-drop shoes, having a stable, un-cushioned base made the Flow’s perfect for calisthenics and weightlifting.


Overall the Lono Flow is a rare example of an affordable barefoot shoe that not only competes with more premium brands at twice the price but actually improves on them with some clever features.


Because the biodegradable knit upper is convenient and cozy, the heel pads, side panels, and lower laces provide some highly flexible support, and the minimal lugs and traction strips add a solid amount of grip.

However, the tread can be a bit slippery on smooth or wet surfaces, the 6mm sole offers slightly less ground feel than thinner options, and as a newer brand, it remains to be seen how durable Lono’s rubber will be longterm, but I’ll make a followup video to let you guys know.


In terms of similar barefoot cross-training shoes…

  • Vivobarefoot Primus Lite Knit: wide toebox, durable knit upper, highly flexible 4mm sole, and minimal tread for road running and light cross-training.
  • Freet Vibe: wide toebox, padded mesh upper, highly flexible 4mm sole, and hybrid tread for road or trail running and light cross-training.
  • Be Lenka Dash: extra-wide toebox, minimal mesh upper, extremely flexible 4mm sole, and soft tread for casual road running and gym workouts.
  • Resources

    If you’d like to support the channel, you can use the referral links below to automatically get 5% off Lono, browse and filter products at barefootwear.org, or watch my Zero-Drop Transition video to learn more about barefooting.

    Finally, if you have a question about the Lono Flow, or about barefoot shoes in general, let me know in the comments.

    Thanks for watching, catch ya next time. Peace!

    Andrew Folts

    Andrew is a writer/filmmaker who creates video guides and reviews for a community of 25K+ creative rebels on YouTube.